Friday, February 01, 2008

More British torture in Iraq

The ability of a free press to report on government wrongdoing is one of the surest ways of preventing and correcting it. Unfortunately, in the UK at least, it's not all its cracke dup to be. Last December, a British judge imposed a gagging order on preventing the media from reporting the allegations behind a particular court case. Now, the order has been lifted - and you can immediately see why the British government wanted to bury the story:

The abuse is said to have taken place after British soldiers were ambushed between Basra and Amara in May 2004

After the exchange of fire that followed, 31 Iraqis were reportedly taken into British custody at Abu Naji.

Their families allege that 22 of them died and nine were tortured. The MoD denied any wrongdoing by UK troops.

Iraqi death certificates are said to state that the dead Iraqis showed signs of torture and mutilation.

The testimonies of five witnesses "combine to give a harrowing account of what took place", according to their lawyers.

Torture and murder - British soldiers and their officers should be going to jail for this. Unfortunately, given the UK courts refusal to convict even in a clear case like that of Baha Mousa, I doubt anyone ever will.